Partners and Collaborations

The work of CEOS is publicly engaged and multidisciplinary. We produce knowledge with a wide range of research partners including scholars and stakeholders, and we share information with decision makers around the world to help accomplish sustainability solutions.


red-winged blackbird perched
Informing Regenerative Agriculture Policy

CEOS Affiliates: Amy AndoShadi AtallahBen Gramig

Partners and Funding: Moore & Warner, LLC

Focus Area: Land and Water Stewardship

This project conducts a critical review of regenerative agriculture standards and permit programs. We scope the strengths of extant programs and explore whether potential exists for developing a new standard protocol based on strengths and weaknesses of existing standards in the regenerative agriculture space. 

Illinois farmland
The New Role of Agriculture in Policy for Carbon and Nutrient Trading Markets

CEOS Affiliates: Amy Ando, Jonathan Coppess, Shadi Atallah, Madhu KhannaBenjamin Gramig

Partners and Funding: Illinois Farm Bureau

Focus Area: Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Land and Water Stewardship

Agriculture has the potential to reduce nutrient loadings in surface waters of the U.S. and net carbon emissions that contribute to the clear and existential threat posed by climate change. But what is the best role that agriculture can play in carbon trading markets to provide value for both agricultural producers and society, and to ensure the credit system has enough real impact on net carbon emissions that it remains viable in years to come? How can credits for nutrient and carbon reductions be stacked and aligned to best capture synergies in those systems for agricultural producers and the people that stand to benefit from environmental improvements? What roles can be played by public policy and private markets to facilitate or support these fledgling markets? CEOS is synthesizing and extending previous research about carbon and nutrient trading using a case study in the Midwest to demonstrate clearly to policy makers how systems of carbon and nutrient trading can be designed. 

Farm road Champaign
Resilient Urban-Rural Analysis for Livability

CEOS Affiliates: Amy Ando, Kaylee Wells

Funding: Illinois Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

Focus Area: Sustainable Communities

This project seeks to answer a critical question facing the American Midwest: “Can sustainability be rural?” As populations migrate from populous cities to small communities, it is critical to ensure that these “urban-rural” communities maintain resilience and livability for all residents. However, increasingly severe weather (e.g., the devastating and costly 2020 derecho event) and racialized social inequities create barriers against inclusive, sustainable development.

Using a system of midsized communities like Champaign-Urbana, Peoria, and Aurora as a testbed, the research team will investigate the many interlocking systems that comprise the urban-rural network, with a specific focus on the following subsystems: food (security and agricultural land management); water (infrastructure and flood/drought mitigation); energy (generation and use); and people (movement between cities, “white flight,” and segregation). More 


  • Amy Ando, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • Julie Cidell, Professor of Geography and GIS 
  • Shaowen Wang, Professor of Geography and GIS
  • Ashlynn Stillwell, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • James O’Dwyer, Associate Professor, Plant Biology
  • Ryan Sriver, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Liang Chen, Research Scientist in Climatology, Illinois State Water Survey
By I, Paethon, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Comprehensive Fire Blight Management Systems for the United States

CEOS Affiliates: Shadi Atallah and Khashi Ghorbani

Funding: USDA SCRI through a subaward from Michigan State University

Focus Area: Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Fire blight is a devastating disease of apple and pear that threatens sustainable production of these crops in the United States. Almost all new commercially-acceptable cultivars that are desired by consumers are highly susceptible to fire blight, and the evolution and wide distribution of bactericide resistance in the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora has impacted the availability of efficacious tools for disease management. We are developing bioeconomic models that will guide grower deployment of optimized non-bactericide management strategies that maximize farmer returns and reduce bactericide resistance. More: Fire blight fusion | Good Fruit Grower

Sustainably Colocating Agricultural and Photovoltaic Electricity Systems

CEOS Affiliates: Madhu Khanna

FundingUnited States Department of Agriculture 

Focus Area: Energy and Environment

This project aims to optimize design for “agrivoltaic” systems — fields with both crops and solar panels — that will maintain crop production, produce renewable energy, and increase farm profitability. The $10 million, four-year project, funded through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Sustainable Agriculture Systems program with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as the lead institution, will study agrivoltaics in a variety of land types and climate scenarios (Illinois, Colorado, Arizona).

Extension group
IPAD: International Policy and Development Workshop

The International Policy and Development (IPAD) workshop started in 2007 as a voluntary association of faculty and graduate students.  Its mission is to facilitate the friendly interchange of ideas and to ultimately enhance the quality of research. The weekly workshop offers an opportunity to present scholarly work to the department's policy and development economics community and to receive feedback on work in progress. The program is led by Dr. Alex Winter-Nelson of the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.